The Johnson Corner Solar Plant Project in Stanton County contains 893 tracker rows with 75,012 solar panels. This project is the largest solar farm in Kansas.
In Stanton County near the town of Johnson City, Kan., the construction progress of the Johnson Corner Solar Plant Project is nearly complete. The 20 megawatt (MW) solar farm, owned and operated by Lightsource BP, will soon transform the sunny days into electricity.
The site was energized in mid-March, followed by commissioning testing that included performance and availability testing. Commercial operation is expected in early April.
Sunflower Electric Power Corp. will purchase the power from the Johnson Corner Solar Project, currently the largest solar farm in Kansas. Lightsource BP is one of the largest owners and operators of solar power facilities in the world, and the project at Johnson Corner is one of their first projects in North America.
The project location in far southwest corner of Kansas was chosen because this area has the highest level of solar irradiance in the state. Solar irradiance is a measure of the rate at which solar energy falls onto a surface, like a solar panel that absorbs the sun’s rays and converts them into electricity.
The location of the solar project will also provide a solution to a transmission issue in the area according to Corey Linville, Sunflower’s Vice President of Power Supply and Delivery.
“The Syracuse-Bear Creek 115 kV transmission line just north of Johnson Corner is nearing its facility rating limit and would have been in need of a $8-12 million upgrade,” Linville said. “The injection of energy from JCSP at Johnson Corner will ease loading on this line and defer or eliminate the need for the upgrade.”
Sunflower was formed in 1957 by six distribution cooperatives serving in western Kansas. They created a company based on the cooperative business model that could provide wholesale generation and transmission services. Sunflower’s members include six member distribution cooperatives and one wholly owned subsidiary serving members in 58 central and western Kansas counties, including Prairie Land Electric Cooperative, Inc.